Did you know there is a trick to effortless writing?
Have you ever read a story that felt effortless? That flowed, felt real and natural, and just plopped you into each scene without seeming to try? There is a secret to that sort of writing. I kid you not. And I’m going to share it with you.
It’s called Study and Practice. Ha! I hear the groans. Thought you found an easy way out, eh? I’ll burst your bubble now.
To develop your voice and learn to write in a manner that comes across effortless takes diligence and time. You need to get good books on writing and grammar, go to writers’ conferences, and learn from them. You need a good critique group and a thick skin so you don’t crawl under your bed whining when they hand your masterpiece back to you with red ink dripping like blood. And you need to keep writing. And writing. And writing.
Also realize that such ‘effortless’ writing is the finished product. You don’t see the many drafts the manuscript went through and the work of writer and editor both.
Some day, I hope, I’ll have that effortless feel to my writing, but even then I won’t stop going to workshops, studying, and practicing my craft, because there’s always more to learn. I hope that’s your attitude too.
originally published in The Sword Review 2006-03-14